Archive for March, 2011


Turkey Meatball Appetizer Extraordinaire

Photo by David Bishop

Spoons from Sur Le Table

Everyone loves meatballs, unless you are vegetarian. They show up in every culture world wide. Almost all of these ethnic gems have a few ingredients in common: ground meat, eggs, carbohydrate bits such a bread crumbs, liquid such as milk or stock, onions and spices.

The important elements in all of the recipes are designed to render them light, tender and moist, enabling them to soak up sauce and flavor. Solid meat balls tend to be leaden and dry. This appetizer ensemble recipe is a Thanksgiving meal in a mouthful. The presentation spoons make them a hit at any dinner party. Makes 24


  • 1 Lb. ground turkey
  • 1 egg,beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk or poultry stock
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1/2 minced apple
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat oven to 350’F

  1. Saute apple and shallot in olive oil until tender.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients with your clean hands or a wooden spoon thoroughly.
  3. Form 24 balls of mixture, placing them on a parchment lined 1/2 sheet pan (cookie sheet). I use a one inch release style ice cream scoop and roll the balls in wet hands. Ice cream scoops come in a plethora of sizes and are one of my favorite dispensing and forming tools.
  4. Bake for about ten minutes until just firm.
  5. Cover and keep warm.


  • 2 cups Merlot wine
  • 2 cups veal demi glaze
  • 1/2 cup cherry jelly, jam or preserves
  • 1/4 – 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste. Start with 1/4 and adjust up when the sauce is fully cooked.
  1. Combine all ingredients and slow boil on medium low heat until the syrup coats a spoon, about 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cover and set aside to finish appetizers.

Parsnip Souffle Puffs

increase oven heat to 400’F

  • 8 ounces each peeled half inch cubes of parsnip, sweet potato, and turnip.
  • 2 quarts of sea salted water, about 2 tablespoons salt.
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 4 tablespoons potato starch
  1. Boil the vegetables in the salted water until quite tender, about 12- 15 minutes.
  2. Drain vegetables reserving water.
  3. Mash vegetables together until smooth. I use an immersion blender.
  4. Blend eggs and starch into vegetable puree.
  5. Place mixture, in small batches, into a pastry bag with a star tip.
  6. Pipe 1 1/2 to 2 inch rings of puree onto an oiled parchment lined 1/2 sheet pan. I would bake one or two as a test to make sure they fit the meatballs nicely and that the mixture is not too thick or thin. You can add more starch or reserved liquid to adjust. When you are sure what size ring you like, and the consistency of the batter is right, bake the rest off until the edges are beautifully browned.


  1. With a small spatula, carefully move parsnip puffs to the presentation spoons or tiny plates.
  2. Top puffs with warm meat balls.
  3. Generously spoon warm Cherry Merlot Glaze onto the heavenly bites and serve immediately.



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